Ministers spared, MLAs too
Two MLAs? audacious attempt to present wheat stalks to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan triggered an unprecedented bedlam in the House today. Speaker Ishwardas Rohani suspended MLAs Dr Sunilam (Samajwadi Party), Satyadeo Katare and Ramniwas Rawat (Congress) for rest of the budget session but later revoked the ruling following rapprochement on the Chief Minister?s initiative.Updated: Mar 10, 2006 13:53 IST
Two MLAs’ audacious attempt to present wheat stalks to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan triggered an unprecedented bedlam in the House today. Speaker Ishwardas Rohani suspended MLAs Dr Sunilam (Samajwadi Party), Satyadeo Katare and Ramniwas Rawat (Congress) for rest of the budget session but later revoked the ruling following rapprochement on the Chief Minister’s initiative.
However, no action was taken against the ministers Jayant Malaiya and Himmat Kothari who had pushed the opposition MLAs menacingly and had almost come to blows.
The high voltage drama lasted for about an hour which witnessed Congress dharna, BJP members’ display of brutal majority, two adjournments by an upset Speaker and hasty attempt of the Chief Minister to pacify the opposition. Meanwhile, CPM MLA Ramlakhan Sharma fell ill and rushed to hospital.
Nevertheless, the ugly incident left a black spot in the otherwise glorious history of the State Assembly. The Chief Minister himself called today a black day in the Assembly’s history.
Two MLAs Dr Sunilam and Rawat wanted to present the Chief Minister small bundles of wheat stalks as a token protest against the State Government’s alleged failure in addressing the hailstorm–hit farmers’ problems. Recently, a hailstorm had destroyed standing crops while earlier crops withered for want of irrigation.
Barely five minutes before the question hour was to be over, Dr Sunilam was asking his question. Meanwhile, Katare and Ramnivas Rawat moved out of the House and returned with two bundles of wheat stalks and ears and placed them on their tables.
PWD minister Kailash Vijayvargiya drew the Speaker’s attention towards their act. The Speaker asked the Congress MLAs to take the wheat stalks outside and reprimanded Katare in particular for his act. While ministers raised objections, Leader of Opposition Jamuna Devi defended the party MLAs saying that since the farmers are in distress the House should discuss their plight urgently.
In the mean time, Dr Sunilam rushed into the well and sat on dharna, demanding reply to his question. At that moment, Katare and Rawat had been distributing the wheat stalks among party MLAs. They passed on a small bundle to Dr Sunilam also who, in turn, first placed it at the Assembly principal secretary’s table, and later along with Rawat started inching towards the CM seat to present the stalks. But Jayant Mallayya and Himmat Kothari, who sit next to the CM, intercepted the MLAs.
A brief scuffle ensued as the ministers snatched the wheat stalks. Other ministers also stood up to stop the opposition MLAs. Another minister Prakash Sonkar joined senior colleagues within no time in the fracas.
Stunned by the sudden incident for a few moments, all Congress members immediately rushed to the well to the rescue of the two but they found themselves cornered by shrieking ruling party members. Congress members too reciprocated in the same coin.
Before the situation could turn uglier, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh and PWD minister Kailash Vijayvargiya descended on the scene to placate their side.
The Speaker adjourned the House for ten minutes. When the House reassembled the Speaker on a motion brought by Vijayvargiya suspended the three MLAs- Satyadev Katare, Dr Sunilam and Ramnivas Rawat for the rest of the budget session. This led to heated exchange of charges and slogans shouting. The Speaker again adjourned the House.
First Published: Mar 10, 2006 13:53 IST